Interactive Retail Displays Help Boost Customer Engagement

Interactive retail displays blend convenience of online shopping with the in-person shopping experience. Computer vision tracks in-store consumer engagement, triggers multimedia displays, and collects shopper analytics, providing retailers with a trove of information about consumer behavior.


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Image credit: Perch

Retail stores are shape shifting as they balance the impact of changing consumer needs, a workforce shortage, and a pandemic that accelerated technical innovation. As people increasingly return to stores, retailers need to bring the best of both worlds—the physical and the digital—to in-person shoppers.

Online shoppers can access a plethora of information through a retailer’s or a brand’s website. A simple click leads shoppers to the product detail page (PDP), which presents item information, plus ratings, reviews, photos, videos about that item, and links to similar offerings.

That kind of easy access to product data is lacking in stores, and physical limitations make it impossible to display every option available. As a result, consumers tend to look up product information online. That’s where things get dicey. If an in-store shopper has easy access to information, they might simply confirm their selection and purchase the item in the store. But if the in-person shopper has to click through multiple screens or can easily purchase the product online, the sale might be lost, perhaps even to a different retailer.

Perch Delivers Interactive Engagement                                                            

Perch Interactive has figured out how to help retailers bridge their sales channels with its Lift-and-Learn Product Engagement Platform, powered by Intel® Core Processors. Perch uses interactive displays and computer vision to bring product information to in-store consumers. Unlike a standalone kiosk, the Perch screens are on counters, tables, and shelves where products are displayed. Sensors detect when customers pick up a product, and that triggers the display to activate.

The interactive screens can present product information, videos, product comparisons, and cross-sell suggestions, similar to an e-commerce site’s PDP. Computer vision also can enable the apps to make personalized product suggestions based on the consumer’s age, skin tone, hair color, or other physical traits. Front-facing cameras anonymously identify traits to provide targeted messaging. For example, an older man in the perfume department might be presented with different information than a younger woman would. For privacy, their identities aren’t recorded. 

In-store Digital Outreach

Retailers can create specific apps using the building blocks in Perch’s AppBuilder. Operators can drag and drop media files into templates to create the desired message. The result can include product information, comparisons, and up-sell suggestions, as well as virtual try-on, mobile sign-up, and omni-channel ordering capabilities.

In addition to increasing customer engagement, retailers benefit from tangible consumer analytics. The computer vision and advanced analytics provide insights on buyer behaviors, typically only captured through e-commerce. For example, Perch software can tell retailers the approximate age and gender of buyers, which products caught their attention, and which products they removed from the shelf. The captured data is sent through an edge device, such as an Intel® NUC Mini PC, to the cloud. Retailers can view real-time information about product conversion and the effectiveness of their marketing messages.

Unlocking Shopper Behaviors

Also in this space is Broox Interactive. The Broox Interactive Table blurs the line between in-person and online shopping experiences. Consumers place an item on the table to get more information. Using touch and object recognition, the LCD table can identify the product and present relevant information about it through an animated dial-like menu on the table. Users can swipe across images or adjust the dial to get supplemental information or see additional images.

The Broox template includes widgets for text, images, QR codes, product comparisons and reviews, and a tie-in to the content management system. The Interactive Table runs on Intel® NUCs and features 20 detectors per table. Custom object markers can be attached to any product, enabling the table to recognize it.

Watch on screen with finger pointing to digital display

Image credit: Broox

While the pandemic forced physical stores to expand their ecommerce options, these technologies strengthen the link between brick-and-mortar stores and digital commerce. They keep purchases in-house and unlock valuable in-store shopper behaviors for retailers.


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